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Light, Frothy, and Fun, Theatre Raleigh’s “Pump Boys and Dinettes” Is a Perfect Pick for Summer


Pump Boys and Dinettes, onstage now through Theatre Raleigh as part of its annual Hot Summer Nights series, is a fun little musical that’s just perfect for summertime. Light, frothy, and endearingly cute, it focuses on the four pump boys, L.M (Ethan Anderson), Jim (Travis Artz), Jackson (Michael Kennedy), and Eddie (John Skinner), a group of musically-inclined young men who work at a gas station next to a diner. That diner, the Double Cupp Cafe, is the workplace of two saucy sisters, Rhetta Cupp (Emily Firth) and Prudie Cupp (Dakota Mackey-McGee), who mingle and romance with the Pump Boys.

While the script, written by a musical group of the same name, doesn’t offer much in the way of story, that’s okay. The songs are the real stars here. Giving glimpses into the characters’ lives and covering a wide and varied range of emotion, there’s a song for everyone to enjoy in this fast-moving show. Aside from the songs, the cast, which is full of energy, also proves thoroughly entertaining, especially during the after-intermission giveaway, when one lucky audience members gets to come up, select a prize, and interact with them.

And, speaking of the cast, every member is exceptionally talented. The boys play their own music, with Andersen doing double-duty as music director for the show. The ladies play salt shakers and other found “instruments,” but even if they didn’t, their beautiful voices — showcased exceptionally well in the number “ Sisters” — make them shine.

Tim Seib’s flawless direction, great songs, and a talented cast- what’s not to love? This may not be serious theatre, but it’s seriously fun and definitely a nice pick for an escapist good time.

Theatre Raleigh presents PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES at 8 p.m. June 3-5, 2 and 8 p.m. June 6, and 3 p.m. June 7 in the Sara Lynn and K.D. Kennedy, Jr. Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.

TICKETS: $27 ($25 students, seniors 65+, and active-duty military personnel), except $22 per person for groups of 10 or more.

BOX OFFICE: 919-832-9997,, or

SHOW: and







Pump Boys and Dinettes (1982 Broadway musical): (Internet Broadway Database) and (

Tim Seib (Theatre Raleigh guest director): (official website).


Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click To read more of her writings, click and

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